DevTeach Toronto Recap

Published on Author Rob WindsorLeave a comment

Another DevTeach has come and gone and, as always, it was a great week. I just finished reading the comments for the conference as a whole and they were unanimously positive. Here’s just one example:

What can I say. You’ll definitely see me next year. I hope its still in Toronto. This was one of the BEST training conferences I’ve been on in quite some time. The “take-away’s” from all the sessions were astounding. My mind is still spinning. Anyway, great job, nice prizes, great orgranization, absolutely no negative thoughts or comments.

Another great quote was from one of the speakers, Oren Eini:

Now that it is officially over, I can look back and say that DevTeach is still my favorite conference. Leaving aside the great speaker and talk line up (thanks James, and thanks Scott for doing it on the last two DevTeach confs), what I really like about DevTeach is the interaction with the attendees and the amount of face to face time that you get with everyone. I haven’t been able to crack what it is that makes DevTeach special in this way, but I have been to other big conferences, and they were good, but they weren’t the same. In short, in you have can make a conference, you really want to make it DevTeach.

The day before the conference was a busy one for me. It started and ended with DevTeach traditions, the Canadian .NET User Group Leader Summit and the Party with Palermo. This year one thing was different, sandwiched in between the summit and the party was a TVBUG meeting with two of the conference speakers: Beth Massi and Scott Hanselman. I have to say it was more than a little hectic attending the summit, making sure Beth and Scott got into town OK and had someone helping them get to the meeting, and then getting everyone from the meeting to the party. In the end it went off without a hitch thanks to help from fellow ObjectSharpees Barry Gervin, Tony Cavaliere and Ted Hoffman.

[Related: D’Arcy Lussier on the UG Leader Summit and the Party with Palermo, Beth Massi on the TVBUG Meeting]

The conference days were pretty standard, lots of great conversations while prepping for sessions or catching up on email. The conference nights were also pretty standard, lots of great conversations over dinner and drinks followed by drinks and drinks. Of course this lead to the very standard conference morning…

My sessions went very well. I did have some issues getting the demos for my SharePoint/Ajax talk to work properly. That session was the last of the day so I figured if I got to the conference hotel at 9:00 am I could have them taken care of by lunch time. I hit some road blocks (it wouldn’t be SharePoint without road blocks) and finishing with only 10 minutes to spare. Dave Laribee caught me on video part way through this process.  

[Related: More CodeBetter Qik-casts from DevTeach]

The most fun of the three sessions was the “Strategies for Moving Your VB 6.0 Investments to .NET” talk I did with Beth Massi. I’ve done a few tag-team sessions lately and I really enjoy them. I find playing off the other presenter helps make things more interactive and it opens more opportunities for my style of humor.

[Related: Beth Massi on our “Strategies for Moving Your VB 6.0 Investments to .NET” talk]

The highlight of the week (other than receiving a piece of birthday cake at the speaker’s dinner) was a surprise we pulled on Sasha Krsmanovic. Sasha was the user group liaison for MSDN Canada and is now the Canadian regional MVP lead and he’s done a ton for developer community in the country for several years. We decided we wanted to show our thanks publicly so we asked him to come to DevTeach at lunch on Thursday for an MVP Q/A Panel. Of course there was no panel, instead we showed a video tribute done by several people from the community (expertly edited together with a lead-in and credits by Barry Gervin) and gave Sasha a plaque and Superman trophy.

I have the video tribute as well as video of the presentation and Sasha’s speech. I’m going to edit those together and post the result somewhere. I’ll blog it when I do.

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